This isn't technically a Speedster, but the Type 540 –known more commonly as the America Roadster–started the idea. The air-cooled, 1.5-litre flat-four produces 70 horsepower, which may not sound like much until you realize that in 1953 the regular 356 produced just 40. Not to be confused with the 356 Speedster—that came later and cost two-thirds the price—America Roadsters weren't a commercial success. U.S. importer Max Hoffman convinced Porsche it needed a lightweight convertible to compete with the best from Jaguar. But the production methods used to create the America Roadster's aluminium body proved to be too expensive, and in 1952 Porsche built only 17 units before its discontinuation in 1953.
Porsche 356 America Roadster
As is well known, Ferrari was challenged by Ford at Le Mans in the mid-'60s and responded with a series of Sports Prototypes; the 330P-series. Early in February of 1966 Ferrari introduced the 4-litre 330P3 to the press in Maranello, alongside the smaller all-new Dino 206 SP. It was Ferrari's intention to build 50 of these smaller V6 cars to qualify them for homologation as two-litre Group 4 sports cars. For various reasons that never happened and only 17 of these cars were created, including this example here, which raced at the 1000km of Nurburgring and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Ferrari Dino 206 SP
Aston Martin Cloverleaf
Founded by Jean Daninos in 1939, Forges et Ateliers de Construction d'Eure-et-Loir (FACEL) specialised in the construction of aircraft components and metal furniture, before turning its hand to luxury cars like the Facel II. Powered by a 355-horsepower Chrysler V-8, the four-passenger Facel II was not only one of the fastest cars, but also one of the fastest accelerating – in fact it was quicker from 0-60mph than the Aston Martin DB4 and Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, while also boasting Rolls-Royce-like comfort. This example was the original press car, one-of-three right-hand-drive manual examples and has covered just 20,000 miles since new. Presented by A. Lange & Söhne, the Concours of Elegance is one of the global top three concours events and attracts many of the world's most eminent car collectors together with their astonishingly rare, beautiful and valuable machines. The cars are displayed in the open air amid the ancient trees and manicured lawns of the Royal palace's 60-acre Fountain Gardens, guaranteeing visitors plenty of space to view the exhibits in the safest and most enjoyable way possible. As well as its main line-up of cars the 2020 Concours of Elegance will include unique coachbuilt Alfa Romeos, priceless pre-war Rolls-Royces, the McLaren F1 GTRs that finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th at Le Mans 24 Hours 25 years ago, a display of future classics and a new Junior Concours celebrating the best of half-scale cars. In total, nearly 1,000 cars will be on display over the course of the weekend. Tickets to the Concours of Elegance are available to buy now from www.concoursofelegance.co.uk/tickets
Facel Vega Facel II